Implicit Models

Post date: 18-Nov-2014 15:39:55

The question I intend to address in this paper concerns a specific kind of belief that motivates some of the analyst’s interventions during a session. These beliefs as such do not emerge primarily as an emotional response to the patient’s material, even though this may be a component. Rather, they are partially formulated theoretical fragments that may be disguised either as pieces of theory or as ‘common sense’. They have a strong creative potential and an equally strong capacity to block or even lead astray a psychoanalytic treatment. In their innovative aspects they have been discussed by Sandler (1983) as implicit models. I will describe how they can also represent and disguise an impasse in the analysis, and how they can be used by the analyst to either explore or cover up uncertainty and anxiety. Their complex origin may lead to a dynamic development when, through reflection, the Analyst’s defensive manoeuvre may be transformed in insightful understanding. These processes will be illustrated with clinical examples.